It is currently Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:59 pm


Public combinations repository

A discussion forum for anything even marginally Hauptwerk-related.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

fchazz

Member

  • Posts: 76
  • Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:37 pm
  • Location: Leesburg Florida

Public combinations repository

PostSun Jan 12, 2020 6:18 pm

I was wondering if there was an online repository where Hauptwerk users could share there organ combinations with other Hauptwerk users?
Is that even a good idea?
Frank
Offline

voet

Member

  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:06 pm

Re: Public combinations repository

PostSun Jan 12, 2020 6:34 pm

I assume you mean registrations that people use with individual sample sets. I think the idea has merit. Personally I always appreciate it when people give the registrations they use on Contrebombarde.
Offline
User avatar

fchazz

Member

  • Posts: 76
  • Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:37 pm
  • Location: Leesburg Florida

Re: Public combinations repository

PostSun Jan 12, 2020 7:06 pm

Yes. That is exactly what I am talking about. :D
Offline

fdewitt

Member

  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:59 pm
  • Location: Elizabethtown, Pa.

Re: Public combinations repository

PostSun Jan 12, 2020 10:37 pm

As an amateur organist as myself (no formal training), I would welcome help in this area.

Floyd
Offline

Mouter

Member

  • Posts: 10
  • Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:45 pm

Re: Public combinations repository

PostMon Jan 13, 2020 2:03 pm

fdewitt wrote:As an amateur organist as myself (no formal training), I would welcome help in this area.

Floyd


Ditto from me...
Offline
User avatar

Purator

Member

  • Posts: 123
  • Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 4:52 pm
  • Location: Leipzig, Germany

Re: Public combinations repository

PostMon Jan 13, 2020 4:12 pm

Hello,

@Flody, @Mouter: Just go on and explore your organ. Turn off your phone. Unplug the door bell. Get yourself a nice cup of hot chocolate. And then go sit on your organ and start with the 8' Foundations. Explore them. Just use your 8' Diapason and play some simple melodies. Nothing too complex. Then go on, add a 4', add a 2'. Hear how the 8' and the 2' sound together. Move on to the other divisions. Hear the difference between the 8' Diapason from the Great and the 8' Diapason from the Choir. Hear how they change their sound every octave. Be brave, pull out the 16' and the 1' and hear what a nice registration for a melody this is! Move on, play the c'' on the 8' Diapasion and the c' on the 4' Diapason. Hear the difference. Hear, how you now easily gained another 8' and 4' stop just by playing an octave higher or lower. And so on...

The registration of a piece is as individual as your style of playing. So go on, explore your sounds and you sooner or later will not need the registrations from others anymore! :-)

Kind Regards,
Rico
Offline

SMann

Member

  • Posts: 270
  • Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 8:22 pm
  • Location: California

Re: Public combinations repository

PostMon Jan 13, 2020 4:47 pm

@Purator That's was a bit patronizing, don't you think? Of course every organist experiments with registration just to see how individual stops sound and the effect of combining them in various ways. But didn't you learn a great deal about the art of registration from your teachers? through study? from seeing how other organists register a piece? Of course we should develop our own styles but I for one am not above looking over the shoulders, so to speak, of fellow organists to see what they are doing. I think we all, even the most accomplished among us, can learn from the experience of others and still develop our own individual styles.
Offline
User avatar

blueband95

Member

  • Posts: 69
  • Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:32 am
  • Location: Katzweiler, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

Re: Public combinations repository

PostMon Jan 13, 2020 5:04 pm

SMann wrote:@Purator That's was a bit patronizing, don't you think? Of course every organist experiments with registration just to see how individual stops sound and the effect of combining them in various ways. But didn't you learn a great deal about the art of registration from your teachers? through study? from seeing how other organists register a piece? Of course we should develop our own styles but I for one am not above looking over the shoulders, so to speak, of fellow organists to see what they are doing. I think we all, even the most accomplished among us, can learn from the experience of others and still develop our own individual styles.


I would have to agree. Sure, we all learn best by exploring and experimenting for ourselves--but if we have the opportunity, why not learn from others with skill and experience? Iron sharpens iron.
Offline
User avatar

Purator

Member

  • Posts: 123
  • Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 4:52 pm
  • Location: Leipzig, Germany

Re: Public combinations repository

PostMon Jan 13, 2020 5:11 pm

@SMann I did want to come across as patronizing. But I have seen too many musicians (and people in general) rely on asking others how to do something instead of finding it out by themselves.

It is, by the way, how I learned to play and register the organ.

My organ teacher would sit with me and we would experiment on the organ until I said "I think this sounds right" or "I like it that way". We also did a lot of improvisation where most rules were just waived for the sake of the sound. I learned to approach the organ from the sound, learning how every stop sounds. When I started to work at my current parish I took the time to get to know my organs. Which meant to do exactly as I wrote. This now gives me the ability to write down the registration for my concerts at home.

I should note that I do not work full time, but I am a project leader with responsibility for interns (students) and I also teach an online class once a week. Whenever I get asked I question I made it a habit to ask back "What is it what you really want to know?" because I experienced that almost always the question asked is not the question that should be asked.

Now, I might have overshot with my comment, but I stand by the essence of it. It might be nice to look at the registrations of others - and you might learn from it - but at the end I believe you should be able to find them yourself.

Kind Regards,
Rico

(This is, however, my opinion and I strongly believe you have a different opinion and that is fine. Furthermore we are getting way out of topic here...)
Offline
User avatar

JulianMoney-Kyrle

Member

  • Posts: 140
  • Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:23 pm
  • Location: Calne, Wiltshire, UK

Re: Public combinations repository

PostTue Jan 14, 2020 4:02 am

Hauptwerk gives us the opportunity to play instruments that are completely different from the ones that would otherwise be accessible to most of us, or the ones that we learnt on. I, for one, would find it incredibly useful to learn more about historical practices as they might apply to an individual instrument, what the organ builder might have had in mind or solutions that others have come up with that I might not have thought of myself. In particular I would love to know what it was that Bach used to do that other organists thought was so strange yet effective.

With regard to Purator's suggesting of trying out every combination of stops, for an organ with ten stops on one division simple arithmetic tells us that there are just over a thousand possible combinations. For two such divisions coupled together this becomes over a million, and where there is the possibility of combining forty stops this rises to over a trilllion. Of course most of these would not be in any way sensible to use, but even so the task is simply impossible. This is before you start to contrast melodic lines with chords, accompanying one division from another, the effect of varying touch and articulation. Then the whole sound of an instrument, together with how stops work together, is dependent on the temperament used (which again means that not all keys are affected in the same way), and indeed on the stability of the tuning and the wind (which with real instruments is a major constraint). Now that we are easily able to vary the acoustics of the system too, that adds yet another dimension. This is with a single instrument - Hauptwerk allows you to switch between dozens.

It is all very well using our ears to judge the effect, but this is going to depend on what we are used to, what we are listening for, and what we know about the history of that particular instrument, of the piece we are trying to learn and of the historical and musical context. It is probably even affected by what language we speak (I have heard it said that it is necessary to learn German in order to play Bach correctly, not just to understand the words of chorales but to be familiar with the lilt and phrasing).

Of course you learn much more from finding something out than simply being told about it. But even Newton said "if I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants". He also summed up the limits of what one person could achieve when he said "I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me".

So I would love to hear about what other organists' experience of registering particular pieces and instruments has been.
Offline

AndrewG

Member

  • Posts: 5
  • Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:37 pm
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: Public combinations repository

PostTue Jan 14, 2020 11:24 am

There are a couple of useful articles on Contrebombarde on how to do it the "anglican" way. I found them not a bad place to start.

http://www.contrebombarde.com/concertha ... ed/limit/6
Offline
User avatar

Grant_Youngman

Member

  • Posts: 1122
  • Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 7:50 pm
  • Location: Savannah, Ga

Re: Public combinations repository

PostTue Jan 14, 2020 3:49 pm

There have been numerous times I've wished that people who post on CB would include their registrations. Some do, but typically they are relatively smaller compositions where it's practical. On a larger composition, with many frequent registration changes it would obviously get pretty unwieldy to try list every change, measure by measure.

There are many excellent references — for baroque, French, etc. — on the web, including both web documents and links to excellent books on the subject of historical registration, such as Barbara Owens book on baroque registration.

I tend to agree with those who argue that experimentation and ears are the best tools. The available references are excellent resources to set the framework, although it isn't always a necessity to be "historical" ..
Grant
Offline
User avatar

JulianMoney-Kyrle

Member

  • Posts: 140
  • Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:23 pm
  • Location: Calne, Wiltshire, UK

Re: Public combinations repository

PostTue Jan 14, 2020 10:15 pm

Andrew,
Thank-you for the link. I have had a quick look and I shall enjoy exploring it further as I think I would find this information very useful.

Grant,
I certainly agree with you that performances do not have to be historically correct (whatever that even means). One of my favourite pianists is Glenn Gould, whose recordings of Bach are eccentric by any standards, but at the same time remarkably musical, and every time I listen to them I hear something new in the way he demonstrates how the counterpoint fits together (unfortunately his playing of Chopin doesn't quite hold together in the same way). I have also been lucky enough to hear Virgil Fox and Carlo Curley play live in the UK, again highly enjoyable if unconventional playing (at least by the standards I was used to). I even listen to Cameron Carpenter's recordings on occasion, although at times I wonder whether he has more in common with an acrobat than a musician.

To me the final arbiter of a performance is not whether it is "right" but whether it is convincing. If it seems to drag, or breathlessly trip over itself, or is excessively mannered or simply annoying then I won't enjoy it. If the musicians are clearly enjoying themselves, then usually I will, too.

However, I do feel that it is very helpful to have some context for a piece and performances which lack that do seem to be missing something. An example that comes to mind is Nina Simone's famous recording of "I loves you, Porgy" by Gershwin. It comes across as a beautiful and heart-felt love-song. However, in the opera, Bess has been raped by a man who is on the run after murdering someone in the first Act, and she has had to flee from him through wild country for three days with no food or aid before arriving home and falling into a coma. When she comes round she sings this song, begging Porgy to protect her. None of this fear and desperation comes through in Nina Simone's performance.

Another example is something I found in the CD player when my wife and I went to New Zealand to visit our first granddaughter. This was a compilation of tunes to play to infants, with a series of albums available to match different activities and moods. The first track I listened to was Debussy's "Golliwog's Cakewalk" It sounded as though it had been programmed into a synthesiser and wasn't even a performance at all. It was slow, and it was lacking all sense of being a piece of music. This piece is the final movement of a suite of six (Children's Corner) which Debussy had written for his own young daughter. A cakewalk is a lively dance which I gather was popular in Paris at the time, which had originated in the 19th century among slaves working in plantations in the Americas. Debussy had not only composed a fun piece in this dance form, but he had also woven into it themes from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde in a bizarre parody. There was no hint that the producers of the CD had any awareness of any of this at all. I was outraged that such a travesty should even exist, let alone that a small child should have to listen to it as her first experience of music (she is now a feisty 11-year-old who enjoys playing the ukelele, so perhaps little damage was done).

Apologies if I sound a bit extreme here. However, over the years I have become increasingly aware of the many ways in which different aspects of life are interconnected, and applying this to musical performance I feel strongly that the perspective provided by context, historical, musical and otherwise, gives depth to a piece of music and enhances a performance in many subtle ways.

Coming back to registration, I would love to know what other peoples' experience has been with registering different pieces on the many organs that Hauptwerk makes available to us. What has worked and what hasn't? Why might a particular combination of stops be perfect for a piece when playing Zwolle but not with Freiberg? I may not end up doing the same but it is nice to have a starting point.
Offline
User avatar

csw900

Member

  • Posts: 269
  • Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:40 am
  • Location: UK

Re: Public combinations repository

PostWed Jan 15, 2020 4:48 am

IF more competent organists adopted my suggestion of including a midi file with their contributions to CB then this problem would automatically be solved. I think its just a case of laziness and the hope of getting a competitive edge by keeping this information private.

csw900
Offline
User avatar

fchazz

Member

  • Posts: 76
  • Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:37 pm
  • Location: Leesburg Florida

Re: Public combinations repository

PostWed Jan 15, 2020 9:09 am

Yes, right now those midi files are how I acquire some interesting combinations.
Next

Return to General discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests